Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Greek Bruschetta

Going to a party tonight and it's an appetizer party!!!
My favorite!
I have a ton of "go to appetizers", but this is a family party they have had just about all of those aps.
So I came up with this new beauty, a fun spin on your typical tomato bruschetta, you know I still have tomatoes producing!?!
I also used fresh herbs from my cute indoor herb garden, given to me by my sweet husband.  Kinda an I'm sorry I'm a crabby pants gift, please forgive me ;)
Best kinda gift it keeps on giving!

Here is what you will need:

1 loaf of crusty baguette, sliced
3 oz whipped cream cheese
8oz feta cheese
1 cup grape tomato's, halved
3oz kalamata olives, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon chives, chopped
1 Teaspoon sage, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced

How to make them:
I used my hand blender to mix the cheeses, but if you had a small mixer that would work too.
Now whip it, whip it real good! Ok sorry that song was stuck in my head!

Slice your tomatoes , in a mixing bowl add the olive oil, sage, chives and garlic to the tomatoes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set you over to broil
Lay your tomato mixture out on the baking sheet, broil for 5-8 minutes

Keep on eye on those tomatoes don't let them burn!
Burned tomatoes are N-A-S-T-Y!
Slice you bread into bite size pieces, pop them into the oven to warm them up a bit.

Now spread on your cheese mixture, top with tomato's and olives

Sprinkle with a little more greens of your choice (chives, sage etc.)


Friday, September 19, 2014

Jalapeno Jelly

Have you ever heard of Chevys Fresh Mex restaurant?
It is one of my besties favorite restaurants, we have been there several times.  And one of our favorite things on the menu are their Crispy Chicken Flautas served with this delicious Jalapeno Jelly.
I would describe a flauta as a Mexican egg roll.
This is a copy cat version of that Jelly.

You could totally jar/can this jelly, but this recipe is only enough to fill a pint jar.
I decided to keep it in the fridge, and that should be good about a week and a half.

Here is what you will need:
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 to 1 seeded and diced jalapeno pepper (depending how hot you want it)
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
2 Tablespoons pectin

How to make the jelly:
Pretty simple throw all your ingredients into a sauce pan heat until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and blend in a food processor for 30-40 seconds.
Return to sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Stir in the pectin and reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.

There are lots of ways I can think of to use this spicy jelly.
Mix with cream cheese and serve with crackers.
We have made gourmet grill cheeses and add some of this jelly in them, delicious!
Or with your favorite Mexican dish.
Get creative!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Fire Lake Grill House & Cocktail Bar

Time for another restaurant review.
Recently it was my husbands birthday, we had a day filled with adventure and wrapped it up at a new restaurant called Fire Lake Grill House & Cocktail Bar located in the new Radisson Blu Hotel attached to the Mall Of America, located in Bloomington, Minnesota.
This place is pretty posh.  We really enjoyed our time there.
The decor was classy and had a warm feeling about it.

Believe it or not we did not order an appetizer (shocked right!?).  Well right before we went to dinner we were in the hotels business class complementary happy hour room, free food and drink !  
That too was awesome.

I started off with their wild rice soup, there was a nice surprise it had fresh local mushrooms in it too, very good!

My main course was a grilled salmon with a creamy lemon sauce.  Accompanied by broccolini.  
Just fantastic, I will definitely be returning here!

Now my husband is a bit daring and started off with Bison Bone Marrow, the waitress recommended it.  
He really enjoyed it.  Not my cup of tea, but to each their own right!?
Hubbies main course was their 1818 Hickory Roasted Prime Rib dinner, it looked and smelled amazing.
We ate every last bite and had to elegantly roll ourselves out of there.

I would highly recommend this place for a nice dinner evening, I thought the price was very reasonable for what you were getting.

Hope you decide to try this place!  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Slow Roasted Tomato and Feta Spread

This appetizer spread is so flavorful!

The end of the summer is wrapping up and my vegetables are starting to slow down.
In this recipe I got to use tomato's and banana peppers from the garden.
It makes me very happy to find new recipes that I can use my own vegetables in, very rewarding.

Here are the ingredients you will be needing for this spread:

4oz Tomato Basil Feta Crumbles
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup Slow Roasted Tomato's, you can find directions on how to make those here
1 1/2 cups Deseeded and sliced banana peppers
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Very simple here is how to make it:

Take all of your ingredients and toss them into a food processor.
Blend until well mixed.
And it's ready to serve!

I happened to go to the farmers market in my city the previous day and picked up a delicious wild rice baguette that went fantastic with this spread!
Otherwise a plan baguette, crackers of vegetables would go along great with this.

I have another spread that tastes very similar to this one called Tuscan Cream Cheese Spread.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Roasted Tomato Bites

This has got to be one of the simplest appetizers I make!
Iv'e said it many a times here on my blog that I have plenty of vegetables coming out of my garden this summer, tomatoes are just coming out of my ears!
I'm getting creative in what I do with them to, besides canning salsa and spaghetti sauce.
You can slow roast your tomato's and they are just delicious!
I rarely buy the sun dried tomatos in the oil, because of the fact they are drenched in oil.
It's SO simple all you need to do is:
Start off by washing your tomato's, roma work the best.
Slice them in half, I should have started off by saying pre heat your oven to 200 degrees
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Now lay your cut tomato's on that face up, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.
You are going to slow roast these at 200 for 12 hours, yes you heard me correctly 12 hours!
I would put mine in the oven in the late evening and they would be ready in the am.
Pop some of them into freezer bags and pull them out when you need them.
They should stay good for up to a year in the freezer.

Here is a quick little appetizer you can make with them.

You will need:
1 baguette sliced and toasted
1 Spreadable tub of goat cheese
And your Slow Roasted Tomato's

Lay out your toasted baguette slices
Spread on your goat cheese
Place on top the roasted tomato

                                                   We loved these and hope you do too!